Evan M. Lopez
Kromer didn't win in his bid to be Philly's "Last Sheriff" (he had proposed to dissolve the office if elected). But he did get inspired to co-author a book about it.
City Paper: What about last May's primary inspired you to write a book?
John Kromer: The conventional wisdom is that the Democratic machine is unbeatable. One of my goals in producing this book was to encourage people to look at the data, which is free and online, and to use it with GIS [geographic information system] mapping. Looking at the results of the 2011 primary [in which insurgent Stephanie Singer handily beat party-endorsed longtime incumbent Marge Tartaglione for city commissioner] could give a real advantage to future challengers.
CP: You write that Singer beat Tartaglione partly by sticking doggedly to a single, effective message — the Deferred Retirement Option Plan — even though she found it (as we did) far less important than less-sexy, systemic issues with that office.
JK: In terms of campaign strategy, it was the right approach to take, and that's what worked. [Kromer's race for sheriff against Jewell Williams] was more difficult — it wasn't a DROP issue.
CP: What did you learn about money and campaign spending from that election?
JK: That the party-endorsed candidates really didn't raise very much of their own money, their assumption being that the party ticket would carry them through.
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